After dominating first-place Fresno on Monday in a 4-0 win in which the Wranglers also pounded the Falcons in three fights, Las Vegas had nothing left for Tuesday’s rematch at the Orleans Arena.
Fresno (13-6-1), which leads the Wranglers in the Pacific Division, outshot Las Vegas 42-17 on its way to a 1-0 victory.
Jarrett Konkle scored a power-play goal 8:49 into the third period to lift the Falcons, who handcuffed the Wranglers (8-8-2) throughout.
“We couldn’t muster up anything. They outworked us for 60 minutes,” Las Vegas coach Glen Gulutzan said. “It’s not like we didn’t show up. We were here, but you have to wonder if conditioning is an issue.
“You could see it in some of our older players. Our defense was tired and our forwards couldn’t move their feet. That’s something we’re going to have to address, for sure.”
Adam Hobson set up the winning score, zipping a pass from the right circle to the bottom of the left circle, where Konkle lifted the puck just under the crossbar, spoiling Las Vegas goalie Kevin Lalande’s bid for his second straight shutout.
The Wranglers, who were shut out for the first time this season, wasted another impressive performance by Lalande, who stopped 41 shots and 71 of 72 over his last two games.
“He gave us a chance to win. He was real good. You can’t ask for anything more from your goalie,” Gulutzan said of Lalande, who made his third start since suffering an ankle sprain on the second day of training camp with the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
Fresno finished 1-for-7 with the man advantage and Las Vegas went 0-for-2.
The Wranglers’ best scoring chance came late in the first period on the power play when Jeff May’s shot hit the post.
Las Vegas right wing J.D. Watt was whistled for a questionable holding penalty that set up Konkle’s game winner.
“It ended up costing us the game, whether it was a penalty or not,” Watt said. “It really hurt the team and you can’t have that happen.”
Las Vegas, which played its third game in four nights, plays at Phoenix tonight and Friday.
• NOTE — Wranglers right wing Peter Ferraro, who led the team in scoring last season, sat out his second straight game as Gulutzan decided to rest him.FRESNO — 1
LAS VEGAS — 0
KEY: Jarrett Konkle scored a power-play goal 8:49 into the third period for the Falcons, who outshot the Wranglers, 42-17.
NEXT: Las Vegas at Phoenix, 6:05 p.m. today